Editorials, opinion pieces, letters, columns and other rants against how boorish we really are
It’s going to take a lot of soul-searching to understand Trump’s ascendency to the highest office in the land. Some of it boils down to factors beyond our control: rising disillusionment with the so-called establishment, the fracturing of news into partisan info-spheres, and decades of failure from our educational system to produce intelligent voters capable of choosing a candidate who doesn’t write like a fifth-grader.
Yet if we liberals are honest with ourselves, we, too, must accept blame. Our snobbery, our elitism, and our unwillingness to communicate with uneducated white male voters have played a role in the horrific outcome of the presidential election. Winning back popular support in the future will require humility and empathy — empathy for those simpletons who were excited by a man who believes an exclamation mark is a classy way to end a sentence.
I understand that not everyone found Hillary Clinton as charismatic as I did, but there’s one thing I don’t understand. How could 60 million adults have voted for a man who doesn’t even know how to use possessive apostrophes? I’ve been using them in my own prose since I was six or seven. Okay, full disclosure: nine. (I was late.) But still, how could anyone make it to adulthood, pass through the upper echelons of business and entertainment, and not learn the difference between “voter’s” and “voters”? Seriously.
I don’t want to dwell on Trump’s lack of formal knowledge, because that sort of arrogance is exactly why we lost the election. Who cares about apostrophes? Trump makes other, more glaring mistakes that for the life me, I cannot excuse, even if he is just tweeting at 4 a.m. and not penning essays for the New Yorker. Consider his confusion between “there,” “they’re” and “their,” for instance. My iPad is there on the table. These are my friends, and they’re both political bloggers. Their cats are named Ernest and Hemingway. Is that really so hard? Yes, for some people, apparently.
If we want continue existing as a political force, we need sit down and actually listen to the other side of the aisle. We must invite them to open up with their thoughts, fears and dreams, and we’ll do our best to make sense of their monosyllabic country gibberish. Maybe they can describe how they feel about a president-elect who uses superlatives like New York Times writers at a dinner party throwing around references to Paul Krugman. It’s very annoying. Personally, in my own writing, I restrict superlative use to one or two per week. No more than that. Overuse is the worst. Moderation is most important. (Did you see what I did there?)
Yes, my fellow liberals, it’s time we step back from our contempt for Trump and the barely literate pipefitters and truck drivers who voted for him. If we manage that, we may learn to appreciate how a casual disregard for prescriptive rules occasionally infuses one’s writing with an unexpected chutzpah. But still, how will world leaders respond when they get an invitation from President Trump to “go too the white house for my inogurashun”? Will Congress be swayed by Trump’s appeals to “do it’s best to solve global crisises”? I think not.
Let’s really try to regard Trump and his supporters as cerebral entities, even if they don’t know what either word means.
Ezra Klein is the editor-in-chief of Vox
Hey everyone, I just wanted to apologize about inadvertently providing the FBI with new evidence for the investigation into Hillary Clinton and her private server. Director Comey obviously has a personal agenda, but still, I hope that nothing bad results from all this, like someone who just last week was being crowned winner of the presidential race actually losing. Want to see my penis?
Sorry, out of line, I know! I just feel really, really awful about this. Can you imagine if I’m forever known as the dolt who unwittingly got Donald Trump elected? The shame will literally destroy me. I’ll have nothing left to live for, except the off chance that some young coed who’s never heard of Weinergate will send me a Whatsapp message asking for a photo of my package.
Yikes! Pardon me, seriously. I’m under a lot of stress. You know, it’s just that the whole country — the whole world, really — sees me as some sort of huge doofus, the type of monumental klutz who single-handedly brings down a billion-dollar presidential campaign. I’m sure everyone is really pissed off at me. And they’re right to be angry. You know, in times like these we have to take a moment to step back and smile. Want to see something cute? It’s a picture of a baby elephant trunk. Look, I’ve got it right here on my phone.
Doh! Please forgive me. It’s not my fault. Contrary to what’s been said in the media, I don’t enjoy this, all these articles and news reports characterizing me as some kind of incurable exhibitionist. Honestly, I don’t like being the focus of so much attention. I don’t want everyone looking at me. Just one special NYU poli sci major with whom I’ve been chatting. Are you reading this, Amanda Zamarra? Check your inbox for a message with a huge attachment.
Yikes, again, I offer my apologies. Seriously, I didn’t grow up thinking one day I’d marry the top aide to the first female presidential candidate for a major party, then screw it all up by sexting with an underaged teen and getting caught. No, believe it or not, I had other things on my mind when I was young. Sports, for example. Just look at this picture in my high school yearbook, there I am with the swim team. Can you see the ol’ wiener through my speedos?
Oh man, there I go again. Would someone please kindly lock me up? And if you don’t mind, just tell me how good I look in these jockey shorts?
Anthony Weiner is a former U.S. congressman from New York
Another day, another story of a powerful, egomaniacal woman telling her stay-at-home husband what he can or cannot do with his own body. In this case, I was the victim, but this wasn’t the first or even the second time. It wasn’t even the 475th time.
For countless years, I suffered daily spousal abuse. Practically every morning and evening, my wife told me that my manhood belonged to her. Can you imagine how I felt? My self-esteem was crushed. I saw my own penis as nothing but a piece of property to which I didn’t even hold the deed.
Sometimes I’d be standing at the toilet in the middle of the night, peeing and crying. “Don’t you worry, lil’ weener,” I’d say to it, looking down. “One day, you and I will be free.”
Well that day is today. I’m breaking out of my chains and I ain’t never going back. To my former oppressor, I say this: who do you think you are, the Cockmaster General? Is your name and contact information written in permanent marker on my tallywhacker? Can you show me proof of purchase?
I stand before the world and declare: my body belongs to me and me alone, and if I want to take photos of my penis and send them via text message to women I scarcely know yet who seem genuinely interested in me and whatever sort of heat I’m packing, that’s my decision.
Guilt guilt guilt, shame shame shame. That’s all society wants me and other cock-wielders to feel. And why? So that we stay creeping in the shadows? So that we’re made to feel as though we are lesser citizens?
We men have to stand up for ourselves and demand an end to the practice of cock-shaming. Today, not tomorrow. Let’s not hang our heads, but rather stand up tall and erect and declare today to be Cock Pride Day.
And it’s not just women who cock-shame us. What’s really disturbing is that some men cock-shame other men. That’s how ingrained into our psyches the oppression really is. Do you know how many guys over the years have said things to me like, Tony, bro, you should stop sending photos of your dick to that person you met online who claims to be a stripper. You’re married. It’s weird.
Well I think they’re weird.
When I was a toddler, before I was manipulated into accepting society’s hypocritical standards, I used to be a veritable cock-swinger. Why, I’d show my penis to just about anyone, no matter the circumstances. It was something I truly enjoyed. But then, in the second grade, Mrs. Dimpledort told me to put it away, threatening to whack my Wee Willie Winkie with a yardstick. And so I kept it hidden, in the dark recesses of my Jockey shorts, for the next 45 years, thinking that I was doing the “right” thing.
But hello, it’s the year 2016, not 1866, when a man could scarcely refer to his penis as his “little travelling one-man circus” without getting judged by his peers, let alone take a photo of it and send it via Pony Express to a lady in California for their mutual amusement and/or arousal. But today is different, and just as we don’t stand for body-shaming of any sort, we must not stand for cock-shaming.
To my former oppressor, I offer you the the immortal words of Beyoncé: if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.
Anthony Weiner is a former congressman from New York and an unrepentant cock-swinger
I’m a 68-year-old presidential candidate and grandmother of one. I’m under a lot of scrutiny these days, and even the tiniest new wrinkle or little bit of dribble on my mouth can cost me big time.
The other day while in bed, my husband called me frigid. Just as I was about to slap that son of a bitch, he said that he was referring to my body temperature. I stuck a thermometer under my tongue and sure enough, my temperature was just above 88, a full ten degrees less than the normal.
I’m too scared to talk to anyone about this, lest the secret get out and people accuse me of being a zombie or robot or something.
Can you help me?
-Heat Really Concerning
As a complex algorithm myself that simply gives the impression of being human, I know that frigidity is a real source of embarrassment for many beings who are mostly machine, but fret not.
Here’s what you should do: avoid physical contact, forever. If someone really tries to press against you, casually step in the other direction. If you must, fake a cough and mutter something about having a cold. Lucky for you that you don’t take public transportation. The panic from an unsuspecting commuter bumping against your glacial body could cause a stampede.
Now, I know that in your line of work, handshakes are important. Here’s what you do: keep your pockets stuffed with some of those boot warmers that you can find in outdoor and ski shops. Rip ‘em open a few minutes before entering a public space, and keep your hands in your pockets at all times. Presto: instant, realistic body heat.
Hope that helps!
Advice Bot is the Dandy Goat’s in-house life expert. Her columns appear as her period does — very irregularly.